The Ocean City Fire Department will use new personal protective equipment to keep public safety personnel and others safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. Salisbury Daily Times
SpringFest 2020 has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision by the town of Ocean City came during its second day of budget hearings.
SpringFest 2020 was originally scheduled for May 7-10, but with projections showing the peak of the novel coronavirus around that same time, city leaders felt it wouldn’t be safe to continue the event.
Ocean City Special Events Superintendent Frank Miller told council members that even if Maryland begins to recover from COVID-19 at the end of April or early May, it may still take some time for restrictions to be lifted.
“As for an event that happens in early May or even mid-May, the reality is we’re likely to continue to have cases (of COVID-19) that we’re dealing with locally in Maryland, but also continued restrictions to some degree as we head toward Memorial Day,” Miller said.
In the unanimous motion approved by the council, the town will try to offer refunds to vendors set to work at SpringFest.
Miller added the town may offer another option for vendors to carry their deposits over to SunFest in the fall, but details aren’t official yet.
The town will also look to see if it can reschedule the event’s headliners (Blue Travelers and Jimmie Allen) to the 2021 SpringFest, Miller said. If that’s possible, then the town may also allow ticket holders to carry their tickets over to the 2021 event.
In discussions between the council and city staff, Council Secretary Mary Knight said it would be “irresponsible” for the town to have the event.
Councilman John Paddock echoed the call to cancel SpringFest, adding it wouldn’t be safe for the town to hold an event that attracts upwards of 250,000 people.
City staff, including City Manager Doug Miller, agreed, saying it appears around the world, COVID-19 may last for a couple months, he said. If the uptick began in mid-March, he worried it could continue through mid-May.
“I’m just hoping we’re open by Memorial Day, but I don’t see us opening for SpringFest,” Miller said.
Matthew Prensky is the Ocean City News Reporter for Delmarva Now. His work focuses on business, government and community issues in Ocean City and Worcester County. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @matthewprensky.
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